The gorges of Crete – escaping the crowds

Crete isn’t only beaches and port-towns, there’s also a crazy geological history and terrain that’s covered with impassable mountains and deep, snaking valleys. Tectonic activity, weathering, or the breaking of rocks and erosion caused by water, provide tourists with attractions such as dozens of impressive gorges. The most famous, biggest in Europe Samaria gorge is traversed from hundreds to thousands of people daily. I don’t know about you, but just thinking about such crowds makes me a bit dizzy. The logistic challenge of organizing the return from … Read more The gorges of Crete – escaping the crowds

Read More

The favorite beach on Crete

I’ve always imagined Crete to be loaded with hotels and clubs, the beaches covered by sunbeds and stands with kitschy souvenirs. Only after another enthusiastic opinion coming from Greeks we met along our way, something clicked and we decided to spent the winter months there. Though it’s true that the island gets swarmed by tourists every year and it’s almost impossible to find an empty paradise beach during the season, the majority of holiday-makers prefers to congregate around only certain areas of any given country, … Read more The favorite beach on Crete

Read More

Cretan Delight – Snails with Rosemary and Red Wine Vinegar

If you want to try traditional Cretan food, snails will be on the menu. When the weather’s cool and wet, they can be found everywhere. We saw them every day, not only on our eco-lettuce and cabbage: there’s usually a few, at any given time, that are crawling out of the compost bin or the fridge, while others are hibernating in dark corners of kitchen cabinets and in the nooks and crannys of furniture. They’re chilling on the apricot trees or relaxing on buckets at the stable. … Read more Cretan Delight – Snails with Rosemary and Red Wine Vinegar

Read More

On how we celebrated Greek Easter

Greek dishes are often plant-based and very varied, but come Easter, the most important celebration of the year, the exact opposite becomes true. The Easter menu boils (or, in fact, roasts) down to one thing only: meat. The schools close for two weeks around the holiday period and families begin preparing the house and the animals for the feast. Our hosts planned to slaughter three sheep — we had known them since coming here. We weren’t entirely thrilled with the idea but at the same time … Read more On how we celebrated Greek Easter

Read More

Mulberry shake

The citrus season on Crete is slowly coming to an end. Now it’s time for despola (loquat) and mulberries. The only previous encounter we had with mulberries happened in Vang Vieng in Laos. There, they were one of the tourist attractions, a humble one, overshadowed by tubing on the river with buckets of booze and drugs to boot. When you’re done stuffing them fresh into your mouth, try making a mulberry shake with what’s left. It’s dead easy, if only you have a mulberry tree, a … Read more Mulberry shake

Read More

Greek Lent, or when moussaka and tzatziki are a no-no

Isn’t it interesting how humanity introduces limitations or bans and then immediately gives in to its hedonistic nature and breaks them, finds a way around them or submits to the cravings as soon as the ban is over? Religious fasts seem to me good examples of this. In Turkey, during the Ramadan, we watched in fascination scores of people sitting at laden tables waiting with anticipation for the signal that the sun had set down and then, as if the starting gun had gone off, … Read more Greek Lent, or when moussaka and tzatziki are a no-no

Read More

When good people dream

We are cycling to the south of Crete to visit Joanna and Prodromos, a couple we’ve met through the local farmers’ coop. First twenty-five kilometers or so are a slow climb higher and higher. Later we’ll enjoy an amazing downhill ride in the three dimensional landscape of layers upon layers of hills, with valleys in between. Somewhere along the way, after crossing the magic border between the north and the south, with the passing time it gets more and more hot. When we reach the main … Read more When good people dream

Read More

Citrus love

Some dream of riches, others of world domination. I am happy with moving from place to place with walks out of the house to pick something edible in between. Preferably my beloved fruit. A quick trip to the garden to obtain some oranges straight from the tree is my idea of paradise. So, in the paradise we are. Since December, our main staple when it comes to fruit is oranges. We still haven’t had enough! We are also surprised how long the season is – even now in … Read more Citrus love

Read More

In a rut in paradise

On Crete we found a perfect place to put down roots, at least for a while. We volunteer and live outside a tiny village called Ano Kalesa, which lies about 15 km from the city of Heraklion. As the name suggests (ano in Greek means ‘above’) we live on a hill. This part of the island looks like an accordion wall: parallel hills stretch for kilometers, canyons in between them. Every window and the surroundings offer spectacular views: the sea, the olive groves around, other … Read more In a rut in paradise

Read More

Greek “spoon sweets” – a recipe for bitter oranges in sweet syrup

The first time we’ve tried these in Cyprus, from where I’ve also brought a jar of heavenly walnuts. They were made using whole, green, young nuts, whose shells hadn’t hardened yet. “Spoon sweets” (γλυκό του κουταλιού, glyko tou koutaliou) or fruit cooked in syrup, are intensive sweets eaten in small amounts, traditionally served on a spoon to greet guests. Even though they can be found outside of Greece as well — we were able to try them in other Balkan countries — here they can be … Read more Greek “spoon sweets” – a recipe for bitter oranges in sweet syrup

Read More